Holding Destiny

by Jane Yolen

You can hold it at arm’s length,
measuring its possibilities,
the round world of it,
the possible floods.

You can nurse it at your breast,
feed it your blood,
let it gnaw a finger, a toe
right down to the bone.

You lead it by a leash, a chain,
force it to do your bidding,
slave in your fields,
lie compromised in your bed.

Or you can hold it close,
like a henwife,
in the crook of your arm,
feeling its heart, its feathers

pulse against your colder skin.

Copyright © 2021 by Jane Yolen


Featured Poet of the Month Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen, often called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America,” is the author of over 360 books, including OWL MOON, THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC, SISTER EMILY’S LIGHTSHIP, and HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODNIGHT. The books range from rhymed picture books and baby board books, through middle grade fiction, poetry collections, nonfiction, and up to novels and story collections for young adults and adults. Her books, stories, and poems have won an assortment of awards—two Nebulas, a World Fantasy Award, a Caldecott Medal, the Golden Kite Award, three Mythopoeic awards, two Christopher Medals, a nomination for the National Book Award, the Rysling Award, and the Jewish Book Award, among many others. She was the first woman to give the St. Andrews University’s Andrew Lang lecture since the lecture series was started in 1927. She was also the first writer to win the Arts and Humanities award given by the New England Public Radio. A past president of SFWA, she is a World Fantasy Grand Master and a Science Fiction Poetry Association Grand Master. Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates. Also worthy of note, her Skylark Award—given by NESFA, the New England Science Fiction Association, set her good coat on fire. If you need to know more about her, visit her website at: www.janeyolen.com.

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